One Scary Good Cause

The Camp Sunshine Pumpkin Festival lights up Freeport for one of the season’s most heart-warming events

By Will Bleakley
Photographed by Ted Axelrod

Matt Hoidal has a way of turning the tables on the things we’re supposed to be most scared of. He does it every summer as the executive director of Camp Sunshine, a camp where children with life-threatening illnesses and their families spend a week, free of charge, relaxing near Sebago Lake. Come October he does the same with the Camp Sunshine Pumpkin Festival at L.L.Bean in Freeport. The festival uses the haunting visual of thousands of illuminated jack-o-lanterns to raise money for the camp and serve as the backdrop for one of the season’s best family Halloween parties.

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Will Bleakley is a former associate editor at Down East magazine.

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